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Areas of the Terai Arc landscape in Nepal at risk of forest fire identified by fuzzy analytic hierarchy process

Parajuli, A., Manzoor, S. A. and Lukac, M. ORCID: (2023) Areas of the Terai Arc landscape in Nepal at risk of forest fire identified by fuzzy analytic hierarchy process. Environmental Development, 45. 100810. ISSN 2211-4653

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.envdev.2023.100810


Forest fire frequency has increased in South Asia in recent decades, with a growing impact on forest ecosystems. Nepal's Terai Arc Landscape (TAL) is one of the most ecologically important landscapes in Asia, hosting a great diversity of endangered flora and fauna. To better predict the threat of fire to forest ecosystems in the TAL, we identified fire-prone areas using fuzzy AHP methods. We produced a fire risk map by applying the weighted linear combination method using topographic (slope, aspect, and elevation), climatic (temperature, precipitation, and wind speed), biophysical (normalised difference vegetation index and landcover classes), and anthropogenic variables (distance to road and proximity to settlements). We then validated the map with records of past fires by applying a confusion matrix. The accuracy of our technique of fire location prediction was above 95%, with a kappa coefficient of 0.93. Locations of medium to very high forest fire risk were found in around 51% of the study area, usually in the vicinity of areas affected by anthropogenic factors. This landscape-level study shows the potential of multicriteria prediction models to inform the preparation of national and regional forest fire management strategies and plans.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Department of Sustainable Land Management > Centre for Agri-environmental Research (CAER)
ID Code:110774


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